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Wanting to turn my mini-retirement into early retirement
Old 06-30-2012, 03:03 AM   #1
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Wanting to turn my mini-retirement into early retirement

Howdy all,

Almost a year ago, I left my job to to travel and screw off. I was (and still am) burned out on corporate life and looking for a change of pace. I'm planning one more trip, several months in Mexico & Central America, before my mini-retirement is over.

As I'm planning and budgeting for this trip, everything I spend cash on has a cost to me in terms of travel days. $100 in gear equals two days in Mexico.

Suddenly it occurs to me that I might not be spending my travel money but rather my retirement money.

I've tasted life free from corporate shackles and I want more. I behave like a financial moron sometimes when it comes to investing, however, so that's why I'm here.

I'm 34 years old and I need a plan to get out. As you can see from my username I was feeling ambitious when I registered.

I do not have any dependents, inheritance prospects, real estate or businesses - just the savings amassed from a decade of serving to increase shareholder value.

I'm willing to live abroad (part or full-time) to make it happen. I don't care much for material things and I'm happy to rent and generally live inexpensively in exchange for an excess of liberty.

I'm encouraged by what I see on FireCALC so let's see where this takes me.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum, RetireAbroadAt35. I hope you reach your ambitious goal.

Since you are still just approaching your peak earning years, and since you do not care much for material things, if you find you have slightly missed your target net worth then it may not take too long to get there.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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You can't just "live abroad". You will have to get a visa. This is possible if you have enough money and there are places like Thailand that offer retirement visas. However, living permanently outside the US takes some planning and there are lots of things to consider.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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You mean it's not as easy as declaring my intent and then taking off?

I've travelled and lived abroad so I know a bit about what that means. Given the choice of working longer to retire in the states vs retiring earlier by going abroad, I'll hit the road.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireAbroadAt35 View Post
You mean it's not as easy as declaring my intent and then taking off?

I've travelled and lived abroad so I know a bit about what that means. Given the choice of working longer to retire in the states vs retiring earlier by going abroad, I'll hit the road.
Good luck with that plan. It sounds like a fantastic adventure. There is another member, Kramer, also young and spending his life living abroad but not in one single location. You might want to look up some of his posts, here and also at RADDR's (Raddr's Early Retirement and Financial Strategy Board • Index page) and read past discussions on this.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the links. I've been reading lots of people's stories but haven't found too many of early retirees leaving the states in their 30s.

I'm willing to get creative to try and make this happen.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireAbroadAt35 View Post
You mean it's not as easy as declaring my intent and then taking off?

I've travelled and lived abroad so I know a bit about what that means. Given the choice of working longer to retire in the states vs retiring earlier by going abroad, I'll hit the road.
I hope I'm reading sarcasm in your reply and I assume you won't be staying in any one country longer than allowed on a regular tourist visa. Some people do that for a while, but things like health insurance can be problematic and of course you have to organize your taxes. So where do you plan on going and how long will you stay in each place.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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I completely understand that taxes, health insurance, residency, etc are considerations.

To start with, I probably won't maintain a permanent residence. That might change.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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I completely understand that taxes, health insurance, residency, etc are considerations.

To start with, I probably won't maintain a permanent residence. That might change.
Many people just stay 90 or 180 days, whatever the tourist visa is.

If it does change how will you get a residency visa? They are easier to get in some places than others.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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It really depends. Some places will let you stay if you can prove financial independence. Others will have you doing visa runs. If I were to retire today I'd probably spend a year or two just exploring Mexico and Central America so this doesn't scare me.

Eventually I will want to settle down somewhere (too old to travel). I have no idea where that would be yet but I'm hoping I have some time to figure it out
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireAbroadAt35 View Post
It really depends. Some places will let you stay if you can prove financial independence. Others will have you doing visa runs. If I were to retire today I'd probably spend a year or two just exploring Mexico and Central America so this doesn't scare me.

Eventually I will want to settle down somewhere (too old to travel). I have no idea where that would be yet but I'm hoping I have some time to figure it out
I wish you luck, many people have figured out how to make it work! Many people in Panama and Peru do visa runs and in Peru you can overstay your visa for years at a cost of $1.00/day. I have friends who have stayed 3-5 years this way and in the end they just negotiate a settlement of a few hundred when they leave. You can also get student visa's in many countries to study the language and I have friends that also have gotten Fiance Visa's through the girlfriends.

The bottom line is if you are creative you can make it work. Once you get someplace you would like to stay, just talk to the expats who can show you the ropes. Retirement visa's can be had for $800-$1,000/month, although they can not be converted to permanent residency. Generally if you can get a two year work visa, you can parlay that into permanent residency and then there is always an express marriage.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #12
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Thanks. I know I have a lot to figure out in that area. It's a bit overwhelming but I'm not focusing on that yet.

First I think I need a plan to get the finances in place. W/o that I'm not going anywhere.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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So are you talking tens of thousands in savings or hundreds of thousands in savings?
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #14
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posted a detailed financial thread over here: modeling options for early retirement
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #15
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No advice; just admiration. I had a similar plan which got derailed by a few things that you seem to have avoided: finding significant other, fear of failure, greed, etc.

I definitely do not regret my choices; they have worked out well for me. But, I do get more tired with each passing day.

Now, 10 years later, I am considering the same with a larger cushion. Maybe our paths will cross in Mexico or farther south at some point.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #16
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I don't think you have nearly enough money to retire at 35. That number would be several millions, I think. However, you might be able to find a way to earn enough to live abroad cheaply. I would look at earning money in the States remotely. That would probably mean maintaining and developing your IT skills which you may not be motivated to do. The other option is to move from one poor country to another. Google Akaisha Kaderli and her husband who did this and wrote a book about it, although I think they eventually settled down somewhere. They benefited by retiring young in the early 80's at the start of the biggest stock market boom in history.

I myself retired abroad and am enjoying it, but I waited until age 62. I didn't hate my job for most of that time, so I sympathize with your plight, but you still have to find a solution.

My recommendation is to pick a place with good health care (Mexico, Argentina, Thailand, etc.) Even if you don't need it now, you will eventually. Also, plan to become fluent in the language.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:36 AM   #17
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I like this thread, and the modeling thread that goes along with it. I've been where the OP is (as we all probably have). For a real simple 'back of the napkin' reality check, if the OP can live on 3% of his investments, give it a shot. Probably only doable somewhere like Thailand. Is it a good idea? Maybe. At 35 with no dependants, hopefully no need to take care of aging parents, or other obligations, it might be worth the risk. I've been revising my retirement number for about 20 years now, and interestingly enough, my original number was very close to where the OPs is. Of course, now it's almost 3 times that, lol.
I'll tell ya tho, the older I get, the more being really old and having to live on a very low income scares me more than working. When I was 35 I knew I could always do some labor and make some $$, as I get older, it's clear that option will not be there forever, then where are you if you run outta $$? At a 3% withdrawal, I wouldn't worry about running out, but you would likely be stuck forever living on a tiny income.
I guess I'll leave ya with a quote from Jimmy Buffet:

"Still time to start a new life in the palm trees
Ah, Billy Clyde wasn't insane
And if it doesn't work out there'll never be any doubt
That the pleasure was worth all the pain"

Of course, Jimmy Buffet is a businessman...
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #18
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RetireAbroadAt35, here's some inspiration. Bon Voyage!

http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/..._interview.wmv
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